The No. 14 Iowa Hawkeyes are very deep and very dangerous and they showed off a lot of offensive firepower on Sunday during its 94-73 win over Minnesota in a Big Ten conference home game.
Although the Hawkeyes had zero points from Aaron White in the first half and only a single free throw from Roy Devyn Marble, Josh Ogelsby led a bench group that went 11 deep in the first half as Oglesby had 14 first-half points on the way to 17 for the game as Iowa had five players finish in double-figures for the contest.
It looked like Iowa was in serious trouble in the first half without White and Marble producing as Minnesota used a 13-1 run to take a 43-33 lead with just over a minute left in the first half. But a Mike Gesell finish in traffic and two Oglesby threes led to a quick 8-0 Iowa run as the Hawkeyes only trailed 43-41 at the half and had all of the second-half momentum.
White (18 points, on 4-for-5 field goals and 10-for-11 free throws) and Marble (16 points) both came alive in the second half for Iowa and the Hawkeyes blew past the Gophers with a persistent and consistent offensive attack that included solid overall efforts from point guard Mike Gesell (11 points) and backup center Gabriel Olasani (12 points).
After allowing Andre Hollins to score 18 points in the first half, Iowa’s defense did a great job of face-guarding the junior guard and allowing him only two more points in the second half.
The Hawkeyes just have a lot of weapons on offense and, because they have so many shooters, they can space the floor and have a lot of different players that can make plays.
Iowa is 4-1 in the Big Ten and they’ve had two consecutive games with five players scoring in double figures. The Hawkeyes have a legitimate shot at the Big Ten title if they continue to utilize so many weapons on offense because Iowa is very balanced on and doesn’t have to rely on any one guy to carry them every night.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: